Ana y los Lobos (Ana and the Wolves, 1973)
Directed by Carlos Saura
Written by Rafael Azcona and Carlos Saura
Starring: Geraldine Chaplin, Fernando Fernán Gómez, José María Prada, José Vivó
A mansion in the countryside, three eccentric brothers, a death-obsessed mother and Ana, the new babysitter. These are the main characters in Carlos Saura’s 1973 film “Ana y los lobos”. When young English Ana (Geraldine Chaplin) accepts a job as a babysitter in the outskirts of Madrid she becomes the witness of her new employers’ bizarre activities. Ana is forced to deal with José (a military memorabilia collector), Juan (a frustrated sex-addict), Fernando (a hermit wannabe) and other members of this unusual family. Although Ana regards them as an amusing bunch of poor souls at first, she soon realises that she may well be an involuntary actress in a terrible and implausible farce.
“Ana y los lobos” is an extremely enigmatic film which may be interpreted as a metaphor of its time. A firm opponent to Franco’s dictatorship and probably attempting to avoid censorship, Carlos Saura made use of a complex artistic language. Although only Saura himself holds the key to his work’s meaning some interpretations refer to “Ana y los lobos” as an allegory – the defeat of the individual versus the establishment, referring to Franco’s attempts to destroy any trace of independent thinking or action against his regime.
Although conventionally shot in terms of form and technique “Ana y los lobos” shows traces of surrealism, but it is actually the meaningless violence shown in some sequences that make this film so powerful.